Showing posts with label occupational PTSD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label occupational PTSD. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

‘Call for Backup’ before suicide creeps into their thoughts

Police, first responders urged to ‘Call for Backup’ before suicide creeps into their thoughts

News Herald
By Jackie Harrison-Martin
Aug 12, 2019
According to the program, people who choose suicide often keep up a “normal” appearance because they’ve hidden a lot of things away inside their own “hurt locker,” a personal “locker” where stress is stored and hidden.”

Far too many times, three words have been exceptionally difficult for police officers, firefighters and other first responders to say — “I need help.”

It has come at a high cost, and that is that is changing.

David Edwards is the founder and president of Call for Backup, a program focusing on the mental health for emergency and rescue personnel with the end goal being to reduce incidents of suicides.

He coordinates a two-day training class that gives first responders the tools needed to help recognize when they or one of their own is overwhelmed, detect when stress is building and make reaching out for help an easier stop.

It was Edwards, a Taylor resident, who came up with the name for the program that was launched three years ago and is now being taught in numerous states.

He said the name is one first responders can relate to because they recognize what it means out in the field.

When officers need help mentally, he hopes it will be viewed with the same understanding and ease that calling for backup brings on the job.
read it here

Sunday, February 26, 2017

PTSD First Responder Carries Heavy Burden "When Those Sirens Are Gone"

Kevin Davison, Nova Scotia First Responder, Writes Song About 'Heavy Burden' Of The Job
Huffington Post Canada
Maham Abedi
Posted: 02/25/2017
"You can't unsee the things you've seen. It keeps going on, when those sirens are gone." Kevin Davison
Kevin Davison is a volunteer firefighter.
First responders are ordinary people, but they're faced with the extraordinary challenges everyday.

Nova Scotia firefighter and paramedic Kevin Davison knows exactly what it's like — he has spent decades rescuing people, but also faced tragic loses. The gruesome scenes from his job often keep him awake at night, and at times he can't shake them off during the day. Though he's never been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Davison says he identifies with many of the symptoms.

"There have been times I've been to a major accident on the highway and it's taken me days to get my sleep back in order," Davison told The Huffington Post Canada. "Some of the things that you experience kind of stay with you."

After decades as a paramedic, Davison now focuses on his music career and volunteers as a firefighter in New Minas, N.S. He says music can be an escape during stressful times.

"I can forget about all the bad things that have happened, and just do music. I find it very therapeutic."
read more here
When Those Sirens Are Gone Official Music Video
Kevin Davison

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Connecting Warriors and Healers Nothing New

Great idea but far from new. That is why the Nam Knights did it back in 1989.
In the summer of 1989 a small group of Harley-riding combat vets of the Viet Nam War, who were also police officers, banded together to form the Nam Knights.

The Club was founded in New Jersey by Jack Quigley, now retired Undersheriff of The Bergen County Sheriff's Department. Jack served as a platoon sergeant with the 11th Motor Transport Battalion, First Marine Division.
As Jack has said: "The club was formed to recapture the brotherhood its founding members shared while serving in Southeast Asia, and to help other veterans of all wars who are unable to physically or financially help themselves."
Armor Down looks to connect "warriors" and "healers" through The Honor Brigade
By Hannah Troyer Editor
January 13, 2017
Hannah Troyer
At an Armor Down event January 10, a display for meditation and a moment of mindfulness featuring the battlefield cross was available for attendees to use
Memorial Day may not be for months, but Armor Down Founder and Iraq War Army veteran, Ben King, is hard at work to grow his organization and its purpose. King, along with 100 other people, gathered at the Mazza Gallerie in Washington, D.C. Jan 10 to create a new connection – a new community of what he calls “warriors and healers.”

The group came together to watch a screening of “Thank You for Your Service,” a gut-wrenching documentary by Tom Donahue that discusses the failed military mental health policies and their consequences. The documentary follows four Iraq War veterans as they face a new war within themselves and figure out ways to heal.

The mental health crisis facing the military is nothing new, but King believes there is a new way to approach it. By uniting the “warrior” community – active duty military members, first responders, veterans and their family members with the “healer” community – yoga therapists, mindfulness practitioners and friends, King believes a new conversation and form of healing can begin.

“We know warriors recognize the value of honoring the fallen and then there is the healer community and this mindfulness community, and we know they value honoring the fallen,” King said. “So, we figured why not create a conversation around honoring the fallen that both of these communities can totally get behind and feel authentic about. We just needed something to start the conversation and Tom Donahue’s film came up on my radar, and we started there.”
read more here